Itchy skin can be quite irritating for our dogs and it’s more than just a slight annoyance. In fact, it can be a symptom of a much greater problem and lead to serious consequences if left untreated. Therefore, it’s crucial that you react as soon as you notice that your furry buddy is bothered by itchy, sensitive skin.

Common signs of itchy skin

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You’ve probably seen your dog scratching on more than a few occasions and that’s completely normal. However, the moment this scratching becomes excessive, it becomes a point of concern. Excessive scratching and biting are one of the most common signs that your dog may be dealing with sensitive, itchy skin. Other symptoms include redness of their body parts, licking their paws, excessive grooming and moulting. Furthermore, your dog may also rub against your furniture, have dry or flaky skin and their coat may become dull, smelly or even greasy. If this problem is left untreated, it can lead to hair loss, inflamed skin, open sores and red eruptions. Therefore, it’s crucial that you keep your eyes open for these possible signs.

When it comes to underlying causes, there are several reasons why your dog has itchy skin. It’s important to mention that your dog’s breed may make them more susceptible to developing a skin condition. Among these breeds are bulldogs, shar-peis and other wrinkly dogs, hound dogs, white dogs, golden retrievers and other thick-coated dogs, Doberman pinschers, Pomeranians and others. If you have a dog of any of these breeds, you should be extra careful with their skin.

When it comes to specific conditions, seasonal and food allergies typically manifest themselves in the form of allergic dermatitis. Dry skin due to low humidity or dry, dehydrating foods can also be the cause of excessive itchiness and sensitivity. Finally, your dog may be having a flea problem, so make sure to check them thoroughly.

Solutions and treatments

If your dog has itchy, sensitive skin, there are several simple solutions you can try to provide them with a relief. However, it’s advisable that you take them to a vet first, who can suggest appropriate measures suitable for your dog. Afterwards, you can implement some of the following tips.

Mind their diet

Your dog’s diet has a crucial impact on their well-being and it may be the underlying cause of their itchy skin. A common sign of food allergies is diarrhoea in combination with itchy skin. Your dog may be allergic to a particular ingredient or dry foods may have a dehydrating effect on their hair and skin. Furthermore, it has been shown that a great number of dogs are hypersensitive to grains, especially if they are genetically modified. If this is the case with your dog, it’s important that you choose a grain-free alternative, such as nutritious Ivory Coat dog food, that is suitable for dogs with sensitive stomach and skin because it doesn’t contain grains, preservatives or flavour additives.

When it comes to dehydrating foods, you should either avoid them or enrich your dog’s meals with digestive enzymes that will enhance their digestive system.

Try home remedies

There are also several natural, home remedies that can provide your dog with a relief. For example, you can add olive oil to your dog’s food to soothe their itchy skin and help their coat become shiny and thick. While plain yoghurt with no sugar contains good bacteria that can stop skin infection and prevent a yeast infection, a solution made of apple cider vinegar and water can be placed on your dog’s skin to soothe the itching, but make sure not to use it on wounds and raw skin. Coconut oil is yet another natural remedy that can be used both topically and orally. Furthermore, tea made of calendula flowers and aloe vera can also be used topically to soothe the itching and promote healing.

If your dog is still bothered by itchy skin, you should give them an oatmeal bath. After grinding up the oatmeal into a powder, pour it into a tub of warm water and soak your dog for fifteen minutes. You can even find an oatmeal-based shampoo specifically made for dogs with sensitive skin and dermatitis.

Protect your dog against fleas

Fleas are an annoying pest that can reach high infestation levels and even lead to flea dermatitis. This can consequently result in hair loss, skin inflammation and scabs. Therefore, it’s important to protect your dog against fleas. You should check and bathe your dog and wash their bedding regularly. If you notice black clumps or powder in your dog’s bed or on their skin and fur, this might be flea dirt, which is a sign of flea infestation. You can even give your dog preventive medication against fleas, but make sure to consult with a vet first.

Create an allergy-free environment

If your dog’s suffering from seasonal allergies, it’s important that you create an allergen-free environment both in your home and their house. You should also check your backyard for poisonous plants that can cause a rash. Finally, you should make an appointment with a vet who can prescribe antihistamines to your dog.

Your dog’s itchy, sensitive skin might seem like a minor annoyance, but it can develop into a serious problem. Therefore, it’s important that you keep your eyes open for possible signs and provide your dog with a relief.

Thank you to Zara Lewis for the fantastic article!  She can be reached at

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